Calendar: May 4-10

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 4, 2011

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Wednesday, May 4

Meg Baird + Kath Bloom
Philadelphian Meg Baird headlines as two generations of folk musicians converge tonight. A founding member of neo-Trees Community outfit Espers, Baird’s worked with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Sharon Van Etten. Her captivating voice and crisp fingerpicking recently appeared on compilations where, as if to reconfigure the canon, she covered tunes by marginal folk legends like Robbie Basho and Kath Bloom. Bloom, a Connecticut-based singer-songwriter who’s also playing tonight, began her career in the mid-70s and is celebrated for her work with outsider guitarist Loren MezzaCane Connors. After many years of silence in the late-80s/early-90s, she’s recently returned with several stunning records, including 2010’s Thin Thin Line. -Elliott Sharp

7:30pm. $8. With Ember Schrag. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St. 215.291.4919.

Thursday, May 5

Through the Skin
Koresh Dance Company is known for their emotional choreography and engaging performances. Born and raised in Israel, Roni Koresh trained in the Yemenite dance tradition and enlisted in the Israeli army before moving to the U.S., and draws from this culture and his life experiences in the creation of his choreography. The company’s latest performance, Through the Skin, hopes to inspire understanding of what Koresh has described as “critical experiences that escape the mind’s ability to intellectually comprehend because they enter us directly through our skin.” Bone up on your dance knowledge by watching seven online episodes of the work that goes into preparing a dance piece, available on the company’s website. -Trishula Patel

8pm. $25. Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St. 215.751.0990.

Theotis Joe
Philly rapper Theotis Joe maintains solid flow and clever wordplay throughout all the tracks on his debut After Hours, but his strengths lie in his lyrically gifted ability to tell stories. His late night tales conjure up images in the listeners’ minds; possibly of the West Philly hip-hop artist leaving a Philly club, smug with the satisfaction that the woman next to him will be in his bed in a few short hours. The first single off his well received debut is “Weekend Thing,” but the album’s standout track is his remix of “Streets of Philadelphia,” aptly named “Streets of Philly.” Bouncy, celestial synths combined with a driving rhythm section produce a soulful album and an enthralling live show you won’t want to miss. -Ben Rosenau

8pm. $10. Kung Fu Necktie, 1248 N. Front St. 215.291.4919.

Friday, May 6

Beta Test
While perhaps more distinguishable than the other sub-genres of alternative music, there’s a lot more to geek-rock than a bunch of pimply-faced Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts singing underdog anthems. This new, Philly-based band is comprised of three core members, each of whom are trained woodwind musicians and possess an unwavering love for all things nerdy. For this performance, they’ll be rocking out as a seven-piece ensemble, including five wind instruments, drums and keyboards. Their sound is a hybrid of rock and contemporary classical music, either set to or incorporating classic video game soundtracks and TV show theme songs. Just imagine if Beethoven were to recreate the musical score of a Ms. Pacman game-play video. Admission comes with a free mystery gift and a dollar off a sonic screwdriver (which, for all you uncool people out there, is a reference to a fictional tool from the BBC sci-fi show, Doctor Who, as well as to an actual cocktail). -Nicole Finkbiner

7pm. $9. Bookspace, 1113 Frankford Ave. 215.291.5880.

Young Widows
Louisville, Ky., trio Young Widows began life as noisy, jagged-edged rockers with a penchant for rhythmic brutality reminiscent of the Jesus Lizard and Big Black. Five years in, their third album In and Out of Youth and Lightness retains the bottom-end churn while continuing to evolve away from slashing post-punk guitar toward menacing slow-burn grooves, attempting with atmosphere what they previously accomplished with aggression and volume. Singer/guitarist Evan Patterson contributes a dispassionate speak-sing as grim and steely as their sound. While not as bracing and intense as their initial efforts, the moody undulations should appeal to post-metal fans and anyone who appreciates arty well-manicured malevolence. -Chris Parker

9pm. $10. With My Disco + Gods and Queens. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave. 215.739.9684.

Amon Amarth

Let us now mourn a dismal fact: Amon Amarth did not score the Thor movie. When you consider what the Swedish five-piece and Marvel’s Asgardian hero have in common, the snub moves from “So what?” territory into grave injustice. Amon are champions of “Viking metal,” a sub-genre rooted in epic lyrical tributes to Norse mythology. Albums carry bombastic names like Fate of Norns and With Oden on Our Side, while their hyper-masculine music relies on burly melodic death metal and vocalist Johan Hegg scowling and growling. This is the quintessential band/film combo (just picture the fight scenes), and it’s been squandered. On the upside, Thor 2 is inevitable. -Reyan Ali

9pm. $20. Theatre of the Living Arts, 334 South St. 215.922.1011.

Saturday, May 7

Some people enjoy historical dramas about British monarchs who bond with speech therapists. Other people prefer watching half-naked women being tormented by sadistic prison guards, giant weirdo monsters terrorizing Japanese cities and murderous biker gangs roaming from town to town, leaving chainsawed heads in their wake. Who are we to judge? If your cinematic tastes skew toward the obscure and fucked-up, you’ll want to join the fine—if a little twisted—folks at Exhumed Films for eX-Fest 2011: A 12-hour marathon of 16mm and 35mm cult flicks, shorts, movie trailers and more with a decidedly grindhouse feel. Though the titles to be screened remain a secret, virtually every underground genre is game: Sexploitation, blaxploitation, low-budget horror, women-in-prison, kung fu and much more. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (with laughter), you’ll barf (maybe), for about three seconds you’ll feel guilty for actually enjoying this stuff and then you’ll laugh again. -Michael Alan Goldberg

11am. $20. International House, 3701 Chestnut St. 215.387.5125.

Video Game Convention
Cellar dwellers can crawl out of their gaming chairs this weekend for a bit of socializing and, no, we aren’t talking Facebook. TooManyGames, formerly known as the EastCoast Gaming Expo, is hosting its annual convention in an 80,000-square-foot arena of gaming glory. The event promises to be one of the largest gaming events in the state. Attendees can not only enjoy one of the largest marketplaces in convention history, but James Rolfe (better known as the Angry Video Game Nerd) will present fans with several of his favorite Angry Video Game Nerd episodes. One of the most unique features this gaming extravaganza will offer is the 24/7 bring your own computer LAN party center. This is where gamers can engage in all-night-long gaming sessions and tournaments outside of their parents’ basements. Since video games would be nothing without their classic soundtracks, several artists will be in the house reflecting on their inner-nerd through their chords. Whether you’re longing for the Sega days of Sonic the Hedgehog or can’t wait to shoot ’em up in Halo Reach, TMG will have something for all levels of nerdom. -Lauren Gordon

Through Sunday May 8. $12-$20. Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, 100 Station Avenue, Oaks.

Wine Festival
Wine lovers will have the pleasure of uniting downtown and raising their glasses all night long to almost 200 of the world’s wineries. Locals like Chaddsford will be available for tasting as well as vintage wines, rare blends and other unique wines. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar and the Capital Grille are some of the local restaurants that will be highlighted at the festival as well, so make sure to bring an appetite. Like what you drink? The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will be operating an on-site store so you can leave with a bottle or case (because really, you won’t be able to choose just one). Tickets are pricey ($125 for general admission), but the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be benefiting from the money you spend. Go home with great wines and the ability to impress your friends at the next dinner party. -Brenda Hillegas

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